T Nation

Mulholland Dr

Watched Mulholland Dr the other night, talk about weird!! Had to get up the next morning and find a site that could sort of explain it to me. Have others seen it?

I saw it, checked out a few websites to try to understand what the hell I watched. I still dont understand anything except that the movie was weird for the sake of weird.

The single biggest crapfest I’ve ever sat through. Supposedly it started out as a pilot for a series on ABC, but the network balked. Then Lynch just took pieces of the series and cut it into a movie.

The first time I watched this film I had no clue what was going on. The second time I still had no clue, but rather than look at it as a unified whole that will offer resolution, I just looked at it as a series of vignettes; some are related, some aren’t. The cinemtography is great, the lesbian scene is pretty hot and there some interesting symbolism. I don’t care if its not all resolved.

i haven’t seen the movie in a while so i don’t remember the details. its starts off as a dream and how she wanted her life to turn out and the movie ends showing her life how it really was.

No.

All I know is this: Naomi Watts is a very, very good actress. VERY impressed with her in The Ring.

Also, I betcha having a cocktail with David Lynch one evening would prove to be interesting. The type of conversations you'd have with that strange man......

If you watch it enough times, do enough research online, and think hard enough about it, you’ll realize two things: 1. It all actually does fit together and makes sense. 2. It’s a brilliant movie. All the people who claim it doesn’t make sense either aren’t trying hard enough to understand it or are just plain stupid.

Once I had read the couple of websites it made sense and my appreciation of it went up, and thats not to day I didn’t think it was good before , just weird, it was definitely a movie to make you think.

I’ll compare IQs, SATs, LSATs, whatever with you. It’s a stupid fucking movie. To say you have to research it online and watch it numerous times to “get it” just shows that the director couldn’t get his message across in a coherent manner. Any moron could make a stupid, meaningless movie then write a list of 10 clues (yes, I researched this sack of shit online) to somehow explain it retroactively. SUCKED SUCKED SUCKED.

Saw it once. Got it at once. Liked it. And yes, the lesbian scene is definitely one of the better ones out there.

hot girl on girl action. I mean what else do they have to do to make a great movie!! That’s all I remember from the film anyway.

To doogie, It’s art, not an algebra equasion. You don’t have to compare IQ’s or test scores to like or dislike art. Since we are comparing things, want to compare penis size? Grow up!

stick to Barney, that seems to be your speed.

Its art, not entertainment. Most art you don’t “get” the first time, it takes some time to unpack whatever is going on. Learn a little.

Loved it… LOVED it. Who says you have to understand everything in a movie? Why can’t you just enjoy it on whatever levels it works for you on? When you look at an abstract painting do you have to “understand” everything to decide you like or don’t like it? I thought the movie had it’s own sort of logic, the logic of dreaming maybe. Do your dreams make perfect sense? Too many people want movies that explain everything to them, and don’t leave any room for you to figure things out for yourself, or bring your own ideas into play. David Lynch is the opposite of Steven Spielberg, who wants to tell you exactly what to think and what to feel every step of the way, and wraps everything up in a neat little bow at the end. I hate that crap.

Lynch could shit on a plate and serve it for dinner to the people who liked this movie. They’d be too embarrassed to admit it tasted like shit. They’d praise him for challenging their tastebuds. They’d say that those who admitted it tasted like shit were too simple to understand the complexity of the taste.

Mullholand Drive
There’s a little rule I like to live my life by. It’s not a perfect rule, but it’s served me well thus far: Anything that requires mind-altering substances to endure it just isn’t worth it. As I sat through David Lynch’s excruciating Mullholand Drive, all I could think of was how I’d wished I’d smoked up before I got to the theater. Not that a drug induced state would improve the viewing experience any; rather it might have helped me pass out quicker, sparing me the prolonged torture this film descended into.

The plot, as much as it matters, is as follows: An unnamed woman (Laura Harring) is involved in a car accident leaving her the soul survivor and with a bad case of amnesia. She wanders the streets; eventually sneaking her way into a just vacated swank Sunset Boulevard pad. But just as she settles herself in, along comes Betty (Naomi Watts) the bright eyed, too na?ve for words country girl, who's staying at her aunt's place while she fulfills her dreams of being an actress. Rather than recoil at the dazed intruder (who goes by the name "Rita" after seeing a poster for Gilda hanging on the wall), Betty helps her get to the bottom of who she is, as well as why she has a purse full of hundred dollar bills and a mysterious blue key.

Meanwhile an egotistical young director with some Soderbergh sized eyed glasses (               's Justin Theroux) is under pressure from his mob investors to cast an actress of their choice for the lead role in his new film. So when he's not pulling a Jack Nicholson with a golf club or getting into a fight with the pool boy shacking up with his wife (yes that really is Billy Ray Cyrus) he's engaged in hillside conversations with the man only known as "The Cowboy". Also somewhere into the film fits a dwarf in a wheelchair, a truly inept hit man, and a filth covered... something behind a dumpster. And of course there are the two beauties and their Nancy Drew-like search for Rita's past.

Mullholand Drive’s path to the big screen has been every bit as twisted as the fabled road the film derives its name from. Initially filmed as a ninety-minute pilot for ABC television, it was then (unsurprisingly) rejected. Rather than scrapping the project all together, Lynch took his incomplete work to French based Canal Plus who put up enough money for the director to film another forty five minutes to try and wrap up the roughly half a dozen plot strands into something resembling cohesion.

Unfortunately, Mullholand Drive's main problem is that at no point in the first hour and a half does the film feel like anything but a television show. And frankly one I would never watch. Rather than trim superfluous characters and storylines and focus on Rita and Betty, Lynch instead leaves his pilot unedited and tries in desperation to tie it all together in the end. But think about that for a second. The average pilot is made with the hopes of anywhere from fifty to hundred and fifty subsequent episodes to follow. Supporting characters are given little more than passing glances and anything that doesn't make sense is sure to be resolved in future shows.

So when we see Dan Hedaya in an almost wordless cameo as an Italian suit wearing thick neck it’s safe to say we would have seen more of him cerca episode three. Same with Jackie Brown Oscar nominee Robert Forster as the stoic police detective investigating Rita’s car crash. And the less said about the strange fellow who drops dead fifteen minutes in, never to be mentioned again, the better.

But rather than abridge ten years of plot into half a film, Lynch instead drops a tab of acid and goes all "experimental" on us. For those who can't detect the improvement in film stock quality, the surest sign that you've reached the "newer" footage is the rash of female frontal nudity. That's right, if you can't salvage your narrative the old fashion way, just through in some hot girl on girl love scenes. Howard Stern would be proud.

But it's not just a couple lipstick lesbians fondling one another, as we also get a dump truck's worth of sub Lost Highway personality switches with characters' identities changing literally from scene to scene. In addition just about every character from the first half is brought back so they can be subverted into some surrealist nightmare.

Mullholand Drive reminds me of the seemingly hundreds of experimental films, both professional (what ever the fuck that means) and amateur I've seen here at school. They're all nice to look at and make your eyes and ears bleed well enough, but when a gun is placed to the "artist's" head about what their work means they get all ponderous and evasive on you. "What do you think it means?" I think you don't know your ass from your elbow and you just wasted "x" minutes of my life. Mullholand Drive isn't a film that rewards thought. Quite the opposite, it fills you with a crushing sense of frustration as you search for an answer that doesn't exist.

The last act of Mullholand Drive exists solely to confound its audience and represents the filmmaker at his worst. Gone is the playful humanity of The Straight Story (which by the way I consider one of the best films of 1999) not to mention the sense of place and storytelling found in (the overrated in my opinion) Blue Velvet. Instead we get weird for weird sake. And because of this simple go-for-broke attitude the film does produce some truly memorable moments. Specifically a Spanish rendition of Roy Orbison's "Crying" (another nod to Velvet?), as well as an execution in which "Brewster's Law" is proven in spades.

Mullholand Drive has had a bit of a whirlwind trajectory this past year being whisked from Cannes to Toronto International then to the New York Film Festival before opening wide later this month. At Cannes Lynch was even co-winner of the prestigious Best Director award (Jesus after this,         , and                     , did any good films play the fest this year?) But I suspect this is a clear case of the emperor's new clothes. Intellectuals get to beat their chests over how ambiguous the film is while cineasts get to proclaim the "re-birth" of David Lynch (kind of ironic seeing as how his previous film was his best). But I'm pleased neither by its lack of definition nor Lynch's return to "form". Instead I'm irritated that a capital "A" artist has bought into his own hyperbole and unleashed this piece of garbage upon us. My grade: D

? 2001 Andrew Dignan
Zoolander
Shrek
Moulin Rouge
1

Well, I guess I don’t have to see the movie now…

I agree wholehartedly with doogie. While I agree you don’t have to understand a movie to like it, Mulholland Drive was crap.

Most of the positive reviews are from pretentious people who say they like it so they feel smart. If it was from a no name director, they would say it’s crap too.